Organizations To Help Tornado Victims

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Several organizations are loading up its units to head to Mayflower and Vilonia to help tornado victims. At least 16 people were killed in the tornado that hit Central Arkansas Sunday (April 27).

SheepDog Impact Assistance will be sending volunteers. It’s a non-profit organization that helpsĀ  men and women serving in our military, law enforcement, fire & rescue and EMS services.

According to Drew Gilchrist, vice president, they are sending 25 members to Vilonia. Five members are already there coordinating with the emergency management center, he said.

Walmart has donated tarps and water to Sheep Dog. Lowes and Home Deport has also donated supplies.

Gilchrist said they will mostly be helping with the cleanup process.

“We’ve got small heavy equipment like a bobcat that will be clearing the roads and then beyond that our teams will have chainsaws and just labor down there,” Gilchrist said. “We’re collecting tarps to patch holes things like that. So those residents on the edge of the tornado can get back to their homes.”

The Northwest Arkansas Red Cross will be sending mobile units from Rogers and Fort Smith. Spokesperson Rick Harvey said four are from Northwest Arkansas. Three are disaster responders and one is a mental health responder, he said.

There are six shelters in the affected areas. Harvey said two are Red Cross Shelters. Its volunteers will provide food and shelter for first responders and people who have lost their homes.

The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of the Salvation Army is on standby for the next 48 hours with disaster response teams and mobile feeding units.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office sent deputies Sunday night (April 27) to help authorities with the search and rescue efforts. According to its spokesperson Kelly Cantrell, they headed back home.

Classic Hits 101.5 and iCON Energy Drink are doing a relief drive Monday (April 28) from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Harps in Springdale on West Sunset Avenue. Supplies gathered will be delivered tonight to the Apostolic Church in North Little Rock.

A collection point for relief items has been established in Fort Smith at 1622 N. B St. Items requested include: bottled water, non-perishable food, gloves, towels, tarps, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, duck tape, trash bags, diapers, wipes, powdered milk and baby food.

Collections will be accepted through Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Joey McCutchen at 479-806-4878.